If you can't taste an ingredient, you have to ask yourself why it is there.
Most of my recipes start life in the domestic kitchen, and even those that start out in the restaurant kitchen have to go through the domestic kitchen.
I do support people eating more vegetables. It's a good thing to do.
Some heat, some spice and plenty of citrus are the building blocks of many North African fish dishes.
A great fig should look like it's just about to burst its skin. When squeezed lightly it should give a little and not spring back. It must be almost unctuously sweet, soft and wet.
Barberries, or zereshk, are tiny dried red fruit with a tremendously sharp flavour. They come from Iran, where they're used to add freshness to rice and chicken dishes.
Food was always important in my family, but I didn't think of it as a vocation until a later point in life.
When I was a kid, there was always food to be had on the street in Jerusalem, but anything above a falafel stand was mediocre or worse.
Nearly all edible seaweeds - or 'sea vegetables,' as they ought technically to be called - belong to one of three broad groups: green, red and brown algae.
The differences between a tart, a pie and a quiche are a blur.
The combination of olive oil, garlic and lemon juice lifts the spirits in winter.
Chana dal are skinless dried split chickpeas used in Indian cooking. They have a great texture and delicate flavour.
For my money, celery hasn't got a mean bit of fibre in its body, and we all need to start being much nicer to it.
Dried porcini add a substantial, deep flavour to otherwise more neutral vegetables. I use them in risottos, mashed roots and winter soups.
Lebanese mezze, Cantonese dim sum and Basque pinchos have all evolved over years and are designed to make sense together.
For those, like me, who can't rely on being given a home smoker this Christmas, you can build your own approximation with just a roll of tin foil and a big wok or pan for which you have a lid.
Though not a true cereal but a fruit, buckwheat seeds resemble cereal grains and are often used in a similar way to rice, barley, bulgar or quinoa, usually as a side dish.
I have been cooking with preserved lemon for years, using it left, right and centre, but I am still far from reaching my limit.
If the first bite is with the eye and the second with the nose, some people will never take that third, actual bite if the food in question smells too fishy, fermented or cheesy.
You don't need a machine to make pasta: a rolling pin and a fast hand can create a smooth, if thick, sheet.
If the British Isles had an official vegetable, it would have to be the potato.
It's well worth making your own harissa, but there are some very good commercial varieties.
Brunch, for me, is an extended breakfast that should be enjoyed whenever you have time properly to engage in cooking and eating.
Pomegranate molasses is ubiquitous in Arabic cooking: it's sweet, sour and adds depth.
A quick shallow fry is a great way to transform leftovers, and no more so than in the case of risotto.
Dinner parties are still highly popular, and I believe they always will be.
I like to talk about food, ingredients, and how to adapt recipes. It's a dialogue.
Believe it or not, I'm as much a fan of a supper shortcut as the next person.
I am sure that in the story of Adam and Eve, the forbidden fruit was a fig and not an apple, pear or anything else.
Polenta is one of those ingredients that in many homes spends its days at the back of the kitchen cupboard, on the 'no one knows quite what to do with it' shelf.
I have had to come to terms with the fact that I am hooked on Twitter. Not good.
Speaking as someone who didn't go through the U.K. school system, with all the culinary baggage that entails, I am inordinately fond of custard in any shape or form.
Like all rice, black rice is great at absorbing flavours, but it's just as happy to act as a satiny bed for a poached egg, say, if you want to keep things simple.
What makes maftoul worth celebrating is that it's so easy and forgiving to cook.
On some subconscious level, I've been prejudiced against turnips, parsnips, swedes and other roots. Do they taste of much? Are they really special? How wrong I was.
My all-time favourite classic use of ricotta is in gnudi: fluffy, cheesy dumplings of almost ethereal, feathery lightness.
I get great pleasure from stuffed foods, from an apple strudel to a vegetable samosa, from a whole roasted bird with a sweet and savoury stuffing to a vine leaf filled with rice and spices.
Manouri is a Greek ewes' milk cheese that's light in colour and texture. It's fresh and milky, and goes well with other subtle flavours.
It's hard to beat the rough texture of steel-cut oats, with their slight resistance against the teeth.
You can really taste the difference between a shop-bought and a good homemade mayo.
Most fish require a short cooking time, but cephalopods are the exception to this fishy rule. As with some cuts of larger land beasts, the longer they're cooked, the more tender they get.
I love dishes that feature the various shades of a single colour, making you stop to check what's in there.
As for pineapple, it's far more versatile than you might think, and certainly merits wider use than in Hawaiian pizzas and pina coladas and on cheesy cocktail sticks.
Eating ready-made meals is about being very passive, and actively cooking is something that nothing compares to.
Blanching the cloves removes the harsh and bitter bite of raw garlic.
If I must choose between healthy and tasty, I go for the second: having only one life to waste, it might as well be a pleasurable one.